Saturday, May 9, 2009

Life In The Ferengi Home World

What does one do when your home world ("homeland" is so yesterday) is attacked and you are the Grand Nagus or The Decider of the Ferengi?

You issue a call for everyone to go shopping, the metamorphic transcendence and the one immaculate concept of the realm. The Ferengi have fused religion and government into a monetized way of life:
Their home planet ... is the center of the Ferengi Alliance and is governed by the Grand Nagus and a Commerce Authority made primarily of the Council of Economic Advisors (formerly Board of Liquidators). Like most of their culture, their religion is also based on the principles of capitalism: they offer prayers and monetary offerings to a "Blessed Exchequer" in hopes of entering the "Divine Treasury" upon death, and fear an afterlife spent in the "Vault of Eternal Destitution".
(Wiki Ferengi, emphasis added). Now the reason for the famous words of the Grand Nagus "Go Shopping" immediately after 9/11, his removal of the robber barons, and the current plunder of America via military spending ("bigga badda boom shopping") is becoming more and more clear.

The reason for the prosperity gospel in current preaching is becoming more and more clear as well.

In a home world where killing and torture are becoming secondary subjects not fit for the front page, where the real concerns are credit cards, lucre, and plunder, there must be a camouflaged ideological fusion of religion and government at some level.

An interesting problem faced by this perspective is that audiences see the Ferengi as a weak social energy:
... but viewers could not see the ridiculous creatures as posing any kind of consistent threat. Thus, Paramount scrapped them as true threats, and they were usually shown as being somewhat of a one-dimensional nuisance, and plots involving them were usually comedic ones.
(Wiki Ferengi). Nothing a little propaganda can't fix? The problem with this notion is that the massive propaganda engines of our time target Americans, and the bulk of the world is entirely immune to that propaganda even though many Americans are not.

Thus, Americans are more and more being seen as a dangerous circus that not only does damage to the world economy, but is very armed and very dangerous.

Imagine the mob and syndicate of organized crime infamy forming a circus as a means of impressing the world. They bring down their economy, damage the world economy, and as a solution the American banksters are given one or two generations worth of taxpayer dollars as the solution to the problem they caused.

If we remembered the Rules of Acquisition more accurately, we would likely have already lucratively invaded ourselves, and thereby would have prospered a bit better.

Ferengi comics ... gotta luv em.

Grace of Bombing Murder - It Works?

Is the rationale going to be the same for torture as it is for bombing innocent civilian men, women, and children in Afghanistan?

The counter argument seems to be the same one against torture of suspects from Afghanistan.

The counter argument by experts in the field of information gathered from tortured suspects is that tortured suspects will say anything, and we don't know if what they say is true or false just by hearing them scream it out at us.

Likewise, an Afghan expert says:
... you cannot defeat terrorists by airstrikes.
(HuffPo). One cannot defeat terrorists by torture murder, either, because that makes one a terrorist doesn't it?

Murder does not stop murder, terror does not stop terrorism.

It is the old story that keeps on going and going and going. Many civilians were killed by a U.S. air strike in what is called "the war on terror". The reports say:
... bloodied bodies of children laid out with other corpses, confirming international Red Cross findings at the two remote villages in western Afghanistan ...

President Hamid Karzai said the airstrikes were "not acceptable" and said the government estimated the number of civilian deaths to be 125 to 130, according to an interview with CNN on Friday.
(ibid). Another report indicated that a Red Cross volunteer and 13 members of that volunteer's family were killed in the bombing:
"We know that those killed included an Afghan Red Crescent volunteer and 13 members of his family who had been sheltering from fighting in a house that was bombed in an airstrike," Stocker said.
(AP Story). I have heard several Generals say the war cannot be won militarily.

So will the Cheney-Noonan explanation (if we don't do torture and do airstrikes the terrorists might attack us) grace this carnage into acceptability? No.

One wonders why, then, tactics are being used that are going to lose it (if it hasn't been lost already)?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Noonan's Grace of Torture Murder

This morning on Morning Joe on MSNBC, Peggy Noonan came to work in the fashion of "the 1935 nice people of Germany".

Those masters of nattering pabulum that paved the path of Adolf Hitler with nice nattering nothingness until he was killing millions before they knew it.

I now call that nattering pabulum "the grace of torture murder".

Her type of nattering pabulum can softly purr out how wrong it would be to prosecute those who torture prisoners to death because of the grace of being nice to everyone.

Brain dead!

Professor Jonathan Turley has a handle on this madness:
For many people around the world, it is a sign of the decline of American moral leadership that we continue to debate whether the government should prosecute those involved the Bush torture program. Their confusion is understandable. Under our existing treaty obligations, we agreed to prosecute such crimes and we have prosecuted others for precisely the same acts for decades. The real question should be: Should the United States violate international law to shield individuals accused of war crimes? Our answer to that question will define or redefine this country for generations.
(Three Legal Truths, emphasis added). Noonan got tough and said that it could involve democrats so we can't do it. She says Cheney is out talking about it because he is afraid. Yes he is afraid. But then she says Cheney is afraid that the terrorists will attack us if we stop water boarding.

Brain dead!

Cheney is afraid he is going to be prosecuted for conspiracy to commit torture murder. Professor Jonathan Turley has another handle on this madness:
Notably, in the last few months, the many law professors who once defended the torture program have largely disappeared. The shrinking number of apologists for the Bush administration are left with largely political arguments in the face of three unassailable legal truths. First, waterboarding is torture. Second, torture is a war crime. Third, the United States is obligated to prosecute war crimes.
(Three Legal Truths, emphasis added). And so there it is.

The entire dialogue and reality is quite simple: the real United States of America will stand up and the world will deal with it accordingly.

Tables For The Toxins In Power

This post has been moved to the Toxins of Power blog.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Supremes Are Well Oiled

Private Empire
In Shell Oil Company vs. United States of America, May 4, 2009, Shell fought the law and the oil won; Burlington Northern & Santa Fe, another petitioner in that case, got railroaded.

In Exxon v Baker, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker, which well oiled thousands of miles of pristine Alaskan wilderness beaches, the oil also won.

Congress passed laws that spread the load when it comes to environmental clean-up.

The conservative US Supreme Court does not mind saying that the load should be shared, it is just that we should not punish those who are making the most money.

Those who have the largest profits in corporate history.

And who have the biggest share of tax welfare and offshore secret accounts and tax havens.

Heavens no, praise Oilah, the one true god of mammon.

So, the oil barons do not have to carry very much of the load, because the Supreme Oilah says the grunts must do the grunt work.

The next post in this series is here.

Bush II Eradicated The Robber Barons

"... and men plunder"
Modern U.S. History has a chapter concerning the Robber Barons.

Briefly, this is the gist of it:
Robber baron is a term that revived in the 19th century in the United States as a reference to businessmen and bankers who dominated their respective industries and amassed huge personal fortunes, typically as a direct result of pursuing various anti-competitive or unfair business practices. The term may now be used in relation to any businessman or banker who is perceived to have used questionable business practices or scams in order to become powerful or wealthy (placing them in power of everything having controlled most business affairs.)
(Robber Barons). How did the bushies remove the boogie man from under your bed, since that description sounds strangely like the banksters of recent "bailout" infamy?

How did they do that you may be asking? The answer is that they did it using what they think is the "Christian way".

The very Bible they profess to follow says: "... because law brings wrath. Where there is no law, there is no transgression of the law" (Romans 4:15). Now ask yourself, "what good robber baron wants 'wrath' for doing what comes naturally"?

So, when the bushies heard the preacher in church quoting Romans 4:15 their eyes twinkled so brightly folks in the pews around them thought that a meteorite was passing overhead.

It was like the conversion of the Apostle Paul, only in reverse. It was an epiphany of the sort that changes a nation from one age into another age.

They removed the law, which made taking money from the public trough in certain ways, robbery. Thus, no robbery law, no transgression of the law bringing wrath, and thus no more robber barons.

The U.S. then entered the age of the Plunder Barons, who after gorging themselves under Bush II and the republican controlled congress, are seeing if they can corrupt the new blood recently elected.

Yes, they are seeing if they can corrupt the newbies into the same ideology, so that the Age of Plunder can continue from election to election.

Now that kind of highway and other robbery no longer exist as crimes in our nation, evidently, just like torture really doesn't exist if they praise Allah while having their ahem reshaped. Your tax future is being reshaped, so praise the Lordy.

It boils down to official federal plunder, whether that plunder is a reaction to a prior regime's plunder or whether it is a newbie's own plunder.

Add state plunder, foreign government plunder, and private plunder, and we have the Age of Plunder.

Some plunderers are going to jail because they did not read the official memos that explain how to do it properly, like the memos that got the torture gang off.

In this New Age of Plunder the phrase "power to the people" has now morphed into "plunder to the people", as the diet has gone from brain food to drive through McNow Chow.

CNBC offers its solution for a free market America by urging us to buy stock in fat-to-thin plunder schemes, delusional thinking schemes, and dream on about your Saviour schemes.

The next post in this series is here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's The Peace Stupid - 2

AP Photo/Greg Baker
A picture is worth a thousand press conferences:
A child rests in a drainage channel beside tents in a refugee camp in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, May 3, 2009. Hundreds of residents of Pakistan's troubled northwest region are living in tents in the camp after fleeing fighting between Pakistan's army and Taliban militants.
A child speaks better than any campaign speaker running for Most Photographed In Chief, but will most likely never be heard or be voted into a safe house.

"Why do you incite our worst enemy to follow the delusion of your worst enemy", they whimper from the ditch built by our orgasmic foreign policy.

Do you see your children in the ditch dug in a strange land, far from their home? Or is it just the unfortunate dirty business that must happen because the highest class is too big to fail in the cold war these daze?

When the stealth B dropped its health care on the child's village, sending its mother and father thereabouts and sending the child to the ditch, were you looking for a compassionate judge to put in some Supreme Place To Court a better way to our empire's damnation?

Stop leading the children into the ditch, and while you are at it, stop the Obamanation of killing hundreds at a time too.

Subornation Of Torture Murder

This question was posed to the fox: "what is that on your lips", to which the fox said "what chicken feathers".

The Department of Just Us Resurrected has completed a five year report following an investigation of itself, even though the law says "no man can decide his own case".

The question posed was "how has the fox been doing in the hen house ... or has anyone been torturing anyone?"

The fox report came out not recommending any prosecution for the crimes of those who wrote America's Shame Memos.

A real investigative journalist, not one of the foxes, Mr. John Sifton, has completed a five year investigation on behalf of the people, and he nails the criminal foxes.

He concludes:
• An estimated 100 detainees have died during interrogations, some proven to be tortured to death.

• The Bush Justice Department refused to investigate and prosecute alleged murders even when the CIA inspector general referred a case.

• Sifton’s request for specific information on cases was rebuffed by the Bush Justice Department, though it was “familiar with the cases.”

• Attorney General Eric Holder must now decide whether to investigate and prosecute homicides, not just cases of torture.
(The Daily Beast, emphasis added). So now AG Holder has to decide what to do about what everyone already knows, and what is anything but secret.

Under U.S. Criminal Law the penalty for torturing anyone to death is the death penalty. That same law gives 20 years to those who conspire with the murderers.

Is he going to ask a grand jury and a criminal petite jury decide guilt or innocence, as our U.S. Constitution provides, or is he going to say "what chicken feathers?"

The Classified Democracy

Morning Yo Yo (a.k.a. Morning Joe on MSNBC) was at it again today.

Meeker, Mike Barn Oracle, and Jonathan OutCaper were showing they had neither gone to logic nor civics classes. At least in this century.

They are on tape and on record saying that presidential candidates do not know what they are talking about during an election.

Those candidates just make promises they can't keep because what they really need to know to be informed candidates is classified and hidden from everyone.

Those candidates who tell the best story find out the real stuff about the world only when they take office and read the classified reports and documents. Then wham, bam, reality strikes and they become The Decider.

Meeker, Mike Barn Oracle, and Jonathan OutCaper did not realize they were saying that if presidential candidates just make up a good story and then we vote on the best story teller, then we have no democracy, we have American Idol.

We have a "best story" contest, then when the one with the best story gets in and finds out what it is really like, then we like what they do or we don't.

Then next election we vote for the guy with the best story again or for the one that is currently in office if he has hidden the classified stuff well enough. The classified stuff that makes his election story look bad.

Are these people, who like to call themselves journalists, seriously that stupid?

Meeker, Mike Barn Oracle, and Jonathan OutCaper actually think what we should vote for as a valid democracy is classified? That we have no choices about what goes on behind the scenes, what really matters?

Assuming that candidates are not already corrupt and are really sincere and honest people, the reality of our tradition is that people who enter power become corrupted by it "unless".

On the other hand they may become blackmailed by certain "intelligence" operations or other will suppressors that have been institutionalized into our society.

Willy Geist was wise enough to keep his mouth shut during the jerk-a-thon and so no comment on him.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Resurrected Department Of Just Us

Obama was criticized for overpowering the Attorney General's Office.

Thereafter Obama finally got it, for a fresh and good change, and decided to let Eric Holder do the Attorney General's job. Good.

That happened once Obama heard the outcry when he said "no prosecutions" of certain people for certain activity.

Obama began to back off and realize that the Department of Justice belongs to the people, not to the president. Another good.

After that, the Attorney General was criticized to the extent he was overpowering the people and failing to realize the office of the grand jury and the criminal petite jury under our U.S. Constitution.

Now it has been reported that the Bush II Department of Just Us has been resurrected and a report that the Bush II regime had been working on for 5 years will become the gospel of the kingdom.

Will it be reported that Attorney General Eric Holder has decided not to prosecute those who participated in the torture and conspiracy to torture in violation of clear United States laws?

Without letting a grand jury and a criminal petite jury of the people have any say in it?

I hope that rumor of such a report is wrong because it would signal the final daze of an empire that once had a more humane heart that now seems to have frozen stone cold.

A people's report has been released which ups the ante.

Breaking - Which Free Is The Bad Free?

When I commonly read the 1960's Los Angeles Free Press as a youngster, I thought it was named that because it was "free".

There was no cost to it. They shared and gave it to us.

I now know there was much cost involved when those dedicated journalists worked hard to expose what was happening to the nation.

Some of them died thinking they had failed, some still live thinking they failed, but others are still out there trying to explain what "free" really means.

Some of the press in the US which is not free is in financial trouble, but there has been no mention of bailout for them except perhaps in that Dredd Blog article.

And this morning on Morning Joe. I was impressed by the consideration Joe gave the press, in the context of a bailout, and I was also impressed with his appearance on Meet The Press this past Sunday. I even thought that maybe Willie Geist was bringing Joe up now better than his mother did.

But during Morning Yo, even the Pulitzer winner Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post, whom Joe was interviewing this morning, only came up with we should "monetize the internet" as a solution to free press demise.

Eugene could not fathom a bailout of the press by the government. I certainly do not advocate that either, but it has already been done in the sense that the Pentagon paid all the very expensive bills for some in the "free press".

They paid a lot more than that to them too. They paid so well that the "free press" became well embedded. Ahem, that is, they even got in bed with them too. Was it hot war and cold love or cold war and hot love as they pulled the clothes off the empire?

Money and love and a piece of the action. Woohoo, voodoo economics amid a free "press", if you get my drift. Every day now they have a little cover up, like an Edwards Affair model or a fear floosy model, but that Jekyll passion is too hard to Hyde.

So, a little money for a "free press" bailout is not good? But it is good for banks and car makers and AIG's? Hey, gotta love "them voodoo economics" of freedom ringing sometimes, eh?

At least wee the people know which "free" is bad press and which "free" is good.

UPDATE: The Pentagon can't get good propaganda help these daze it seems. They just withdrew a report that whitewashed the fact they paid the "free press" to do their bidding:
Donald M. Horstman, the Pentagon’s deputy inspector general for policy and oversight, said in a memorandum released on Tuesday that the report was so riddled with flaws and inaccuracies that none of its conclusions could be relied upon. In addition to repudiating its own report, the inspector general’s office took the additional step of removing the report from its Web site.
(NY Times). They had been caught with their pants down in bed with the press and attempted to portray it as some sort of medical rescue mission I suppose.

Glitter Of Peace In The Dirty Business

What has come of us when peace is a dirty hippy business and war is a holy no guts no glory business?

When there are two "sides" to peace and two "sides" to war?

When the "peace moderator" is the nation that spends more on weapons every year than all the rest of the nations combined, and has killed more people in war recently than all the other nations combined?

When one wonders what is meant by the statement:
The leader of the militant Palestinian group Hamas said Monday that its fighters had stopped firing rockets at Israel for now. He also reached out in a limited way to the Obama administration and others in the West, saying the movement was seeking a state only in the areas Israel won in 1967.
(NY Times). We have come to where we are. The place at the opposite end of our mission and our duty. The place in the book "1984" by G. Orwell, where "war is peace", and where warm is cold.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Phases Of An Empire Freezing To Death

For every macrocosm there is a microcosm or so.

When one asserts a microcosm as a fit for a particular macrocosm, the entire exercise used to validate that assertion is to offer a number of links for proof of the concept.

We call each link a nexus. If each nexus is valid, and there are a sufficient number of them, we have a match.

The photo and original post on Dredd Blog can be used as an example of how difficult it is to navigate through such a scenario.

Even when it is true we wonder "how does a human being freeze to death with other humans around", even within earshot?

How does a fellow human end up partially encased within a block of ice in a populated modern 'down town'?

So how, then, would an empire metaphorically freeze to death?

Let's use an article written by a fellow who actually went through phases of freezing. A scenario we can use as a microcosm.

He points out that "When your Jeep spins lazily off the mountain road and slams backward into a snowbank, you don't worry immediately about the cold. Your first thought is that you've just dented your bumper."

Our set of priorities is a shape shifter which changes shape depending on circumstances. Our priorities are a chameleon, a state of camouflage, set to reform at any given time. Empires have priorities called policy.

When an empire gets into economic trouble, war trouble, health trouble, and political trouble, its initial reaction is similar: "This too will pass ... troubles always come to an end" will be spoken by the mouthpieces and felt by the recipients eager to agree throughout the empire.

The next chain of thoughts: "Your second is that you've failed to bring a shovel. Your third is that you'll be late for dinner. Friends are expecting you at their cabin around eight for a moonlight ski, a late dinner, a sauna. Nothing can keep you from that."

An empire will generally have gone through the process that develops broad based and well organized propaganda institutions, which believe in repetition (a pillar of propaganda) thus
the empire's second reaction: "This too will pass ... troubles always come to an end" will be spoken by the mouthpieces throughout the empire.

The article points out that the individual person goes through several other phases until "your core temperature reaches 93, amnesia nibbles at your consciousness. You check your watch: 12:58. Maybe someone will come looking for you soon. Moments later, you check again. You can't keep the numbers in your head. You'll remember little of what happens next ... Your head drops back. The snow crunches softly in your ear. In the minus-35-degree air, your core temperature falls about one degree every 30 to 40 minutes, your body heat leaching out into the soft, enveloping snow. Apathy at 91 degrees. Stupor at 90 ... At 86 degrees, your heart, its electrical impulses hampered by chilled nerve tissues, becomes arrhythmic. It now pumps less than two-thirds the normal amount of blood. The lack of oxygen and the slowing metabolism of your brain, meanwhile, begin to trigger visual and auditory hallucinations."

The empire hallucinates that money and military might will solve all of the mounting problems. Spend more money, send more troops; while the folk singers in the empire sing:
Silver and gold
Won't buy back the beat of a heart grown cold
(Silvio, by Bob Dylan). Ah yes, the heart; down close to the soul. The heart grown cold sends cold to the soul.

And it has hallucinogenic consequences. Propaganda freezes an empire's heart and the consequence is loosing touch with what is really happening.

Empirical hallucination begins to feed the soul of the empire. Thus, the proper thing to do inches, then hops, then flies further and further away.

The individual solution becomes, "At 85 degrees, those freezing to death, in a strange, anguished paroxysm, often rip off their clothes. This phenomenon, known as paradoxical undressing, is common ...".

The empire's solution is to imagine that the emperor has clothes even though the emperor is naked; "This too will pass ... troubles always come to an end" will be spoken by the mouthpieces and felt by the recipients eager to agree throughout the empire.

They hallucinate that the past is the present and the future; inconveniently forgetting that cold is not warm.

Read the whole story; it is quite interesting.

Then use your own imagination to apply it to the empire example, remembering, "a heart grown cold".

A focused discussion of the topic of "paradoxical undressing" is available in the article Paradoxical Undressing [The article was removed, so here is The Wayback Machine Copy - scroll down to view/read it].

The next post in this series is here.